Millennials Finally Moving Out Of Parents’ Basements

A couple walks past a for lease sign on Logan Circle. Many of the homes on the circle or historical and now very expensive.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

For the better part of a decade, we have been reading news stories about how the millennial generation is struggling to leave their parents’ homes.

Constant surveys show large percentages of the age group — which is never fully defined — still living at home well into adulthood. For example, in May of this year, one survey found nearly 23% of millennials were still living in their parents' home, up from 13.5% in 2005. That survey was from the real estate database company Zillow, which analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data between 2005 and 2016.

But in the latest survey, commissioned by the former Ernst & Young (EY) since 2016, it appears millennials are finally moving out on their own. Axios reports the number of millennials living at home has plummeted since EY’s last survey in 2016, from 30% to 16% in 2018. EY’s survey also found that home ownership among millennials has grown from 26% in 2016 to 40% in 2018.

There’s an obvious caveat here, and that is the millennial generation has grown two years since 2016 (obviously). Axios notes:

“The first survey was of individuals aged between 18 and 34; this year, it's of individuals aged 20 to 36. Who are naturally more likely to own homes and to no longer live with their parents.”

Also, EY’s 2016 survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and GBA strategies, while the 2018 survey was conducted by Research Now. No one’s really heard of those companies, which doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t be trusted, but one should look at the numbers more skeptically than the Zillow study that used Census Bureau data.

Also, Axios points out that looking at the size of a change instead of the actual numbers behind that change, the “margins of error get magnified significantly.”

Still, this survey could spell good news not only for a generation of young Americans, but also the U.S. economy.

France is currently dealing with a violent uprising from its youth population, as thousands gathered in Paris on Saturday to protest rising fuel taxes.

“It’s going to trigger a civil war and me, like most other citizens, we’re all ready,” one 21-year-old protester said.

“They take everything from us. They steal everything from us,” said another.

Meanwhile, Republican tax cuts in the U.S. are leading to more economic growth (and more tax revenue, despite Democrat claims that the government would collect less), which could help explain the surge in millennial independence, though it would certainly not be the only factor.

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